how two became three [part 1]

I'm not going to apologize for the length of this post, because I really want to document everything I can remember. I've tried to be tasteful, yet honest and real. Especially during the last few weeks of pregnancy, reading birth stories helped me out a lot. I appreciate your comments, but please don't judge me for my choices in how I went about giving birth. Thank you for the love and support you've given me!

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was getting really done. I was just ready to my baby, and ready to no longer be pregnant. We were also getting anxious since TJ would be starting school soon, and we wanted to have some time with the baby before things got busy. So we walked. Walking, we'd heard, was really the only thing that most doctors agreed would help get labor started. The Saturday before he was born, however, we went 4-wheeling in Grandpa Troy's truck....which only served to make mommy uncomfortable and make baby squirm a bunch. Anyways, back to the walking.

On Tuesday, we went in for our routine doctor's visit (an appointment I was really hoping to miss). The PA checked me, and I was dilated to a 3 and about 80% effaced. TJ and I were glad to hear that news! But, that didn't necessarily mean that the baby would come soon. We discussed the possibility of being induced the next week, and then I asked Kristi, the PA, to sweep my membranes. It was pretty uncomfortable, but I was willing to do almost anything. That evening, I had a few strong contractions, but nothing regular or consistent. We went to bed that night hoping, but a little disappointed.

On Wednesday morning, August 15th, I got up feeling pretty normal and pretty disappointed. I got ready for, and went to work. Once there, I started feeling some cramps, but I (honestly) thought that it was the maternity pants I was wearing. That pair was a little tight around my lower abdomen, so I thought that the elastic band was the cause of my discomfort. I dealt with it until about 1pm, when I finally ran home and changed into my other, more comfortable maternity pants. When I got back to work, I realized that my discomfort hadn't really gone away. Then I started to notice that instead of just being consistent pain, there were times when the pain got more intense. After talking to my mom and TJ, I decided these were contractions. I had downloaded a contraction timer app on my iPod, and began to time these "contractions." They started off kind of scattered, and I thought that surely I must be mistaken. But, as I timed them, I realized they averaged about 4 minutes apart and were lasting around 1 minute. I finished up the work day, and when I got home at 4:00, I decided to call the doctor's office. I told them how far apart they were, but also that they weren't super intense. They told me to go ahead and go to the hospital to be checked.

I told this to TJ, and as excited as he was for this to happen, neither of us wanted to be sent home for false labor, or not being far enough along to be admitted. He suggested we wait an hour and continued playing his XBox game. I, on the otherhand, started to collect the last few items for our bag and to get myself ready. At about 4:45, TJ realized what I was doing and I said that I'd like to go sooner than later. I think I was just excited, but also thought this might be the real deal. He then realized he hadn't showered yet that day (which never happens, go figure it would happen that day of all days). So, he showered and I continued to get ready, going over my checklist. By a little after 5, we were off, but not in a rush. We even hit a train on our way to the hospital, but I wasn't too worried. I somehow knew we would hit a train on our way...it was just how fate would have it. 

We parked the car on the top level of the parking garage like we'd planned, and left our bags in the car as we walked into the Women & Infants center. They let us in, asked what we needed and had me fill out a paper with my information. I remember my hand shaking, not from pain as much as from nerves. I really wanted this to be real, and didn't want to go home. A nurse took me into the small triage area, had me give a urine sample and change into a gown, and gave me a bed to wait on. A few (long) minutes later, a second nurse came in and hooked me up to the monitors. She said I was having some good, strong contractions (which I was feeling a little more intensely) and then checked me. I was dilated to 4cm, and about 80% effaced. At this point, she said I could stay and see if labor progressed there at the hospital, or I could go home to wait for more progression. (As a side note, I think if I had been in Phoenix somewhere, they would have sent me home. Flagstaff is much smaller, however, and therefore the hospital is less busy. I think there were only maybe 3 other women in Labor & Delivery at that point.) Since I'm super indecisive, she left us for a few minutes to talk about it. TJ was fascinated with watching my contractions on the monitor and enjoyed telling me when another one was coming (as though I didn't know). Apparently the nurse was watching too, because when we returned, she told us that she had seen my doctor who was with another patient, and told him how consistent and strong my contractions were, and he recommended that I stay to see how I progressed. He wanted me to walk around the hospital, and then in 2 hours they would check me again. So that's what we did. We walked all over the 2 floors we were allowed on, and started contacting our immediate family and a few close friends to let them know that I was at the hospital, but it could still be a while before baby came.

[FMC has a "Skywalk" that connects two of the buildings. We walked back and forth between the  two for a change of scenery. I decided to snap one last bump picture of my reflection in the windows.]


Around 7:30, we made our way to our to our labor room, where we met my nurse for the night, George. I could write a whole blog post about George. He was the best nurse I could have asked for. He's in his 60's and was so gentle and kind, and pretty much the sweetest man ever. We both were so grateful to have him as our nurse. I wish he had been there for the delivery, but the nurse I did have was great. Anyways, George hooked me up to the monitors and checked me. I was dilated to a 6. 5, and it was decided we would be staying the night. I got hooked up to an IV and started getting low-dose Pitocin, just to keep the contractions going. TJ left to go grab the couple of things we left at the apartment, and to get us some food since we hadn't eaten dinner.

[George said it was OK. Said it shouldn't both me to much, and at this point it was still appetizing.]

So, we got settled in for the night. George thought that Jake would probably be here by 9 the next morning, but definitely before noon. I asked TJ to give me a blessing of comfort and strength, and it was beautiful and exactly what I needed to hear. TJ watched Netflix on his iPod, while I tried to sleep through contractions. He also dozed off at times. At one point, I tried laboring on a birthing ball, which helped some. TJ rubbed my back and tried to be there for me. George checked on me frequently, and was so patient to unhook my machines every time I made a trip to the bathroom. He even snuck me a peanut butter cookie at 2:00am. TJ woke up while I was eating it, and was so confused when I offered him some. 

It was a long night, and I did get some sleep here and there. I constantly debated back and forth about when to ask for an epidural. I told TJ that I wasn't trying to be a hero, but I also didn't want to be a whimp. It doesn't make sense, but that was how I felt. I wanted the option to go to do things and not be strapped to the bed. George checked me again at some point and I hadn't progressed any further, which was frustrating. Then, at about 6am, I woke up with some majorly painful contractions. I went to the bathroom one more time and about screamed from the pain of moving around like that, and finally told George I was ready. After checking me again, he declared I was finally dilated to 8 cm and that I was just within the window to get an epidural before it would be too late. He went and got the anesthesiologist and got me started on fluids. I endured several more excruciating contractions, and wondered at the extreme pain. As TJ and George helped me get in place so the anesthesiologist could place the epidural, I felt a sudden gush of fluid from my nether regions, and stammered through another contraction, "I think my water broke."

To be continued.

7 comments :

  1. You can't leave me hanging!!!! I'm so glad that you had such great nurses! Mine wouldn't let me eat anything at all til I had Rory - over 24 hrs of no food was no bueno! I'm so happy for you and TJ!!! Can't wait to hear the rest!!!

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  2. yay!! I'm loving your story so far and I can't wait for part two!! You are amazing Kylie!! Birth stories are the best and your writing is beautiful as always!

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  3. Oooh good ending! Now I am in suspense!!! I hope you post the rest soon :) LOVE birth stories.

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  4. I must be weird, but I LOVE reading birth stories. Something so magical, you know?! Anyway, way to leave us with a cliffhanger!

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  5. AHHHHH!!! Not "to be continued!!"
    I'm going CRAZY!!

    FINISH!!!

    xoxo

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  6. Breaking waters is the most disgusting feeling known to human kind. SO GROSS. Anyway...looking forward to the rest!! I keep telling myself I need to write a detailed birth story since I left so much out with my blog post. Maybe part 2 of yours will finally motivate me. haha :)

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Thanks for reading! I love reading your thoughts, too :)